Ewan Maalerud

Ewan Maalerud

Ewan is part of the Digital Customer Experience team for SAP Analytics Cloud, based in Vancouver, Canada. He’s passionate about data analytics and communicating the value of using data to optimize business outcomes.

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Conditional formatting thresholds in SAP Analytics Cloud

Thresholds in SAP Analytics Cloud are used to measure performance and indicate when an action may need to be taken. They also provide context when sharing reports.

Using this information, you can dive deeper into your data to determine potential causes and solutions of high and low performing areas of your business.

Monitoring Performance with Visual Thresholds

Suppose you’re tracking your sales managers and you want a quick way to see which managers met their performance targets. But before creating thresholds, you must first determine the following:

  • Key Performance Indicators — whether you are tracking growth rate, conversion, customer acquisition, etc., determine which KPIs you want to measure
  • Benchmarks — establish a benchmark as a way of measuring performance and putting your business goals in context

Once you have these numbers defined, you’ll be ready to set your thresholds in SAP Analytics Cloud.

To set thresholds for your KPIs, first click the Conditional Formatting Icon found in the toolbar.

thresholds SAP Analytics Cloud

The Conditional Formatting panel appears. Under the ‘Thresholds’ section, choose ‘Add threshold’.

adding threshold SAP Analytics Cloud

You can add multiple ranges. In this example, we have added three ranges:

  • OK (green)
  • Warning (yellow)
  • Critical (red)

creating threshold SAP Analytics Cloud

Each interval has a range, or upper and lower threshold. If an upper threshold is not defined, it is assumed to be infinity. If a lower threshold is not defined, it’s assumed to be negative infinity. Ranges can have gaps between them if desired, but they cannot overlap.

You can change the default names and colors for the intervals if desired.

Once you select the intervals and ranges, click apply. You now need to apply it to your chart. To do this, you need to change the color to the measure you selected when creating the threshold. In our case, we selected Revenue.

KPI threshold SAP Analytics Cloud

In the Builder panel, change the color to Revenue (or the measure you selected).

Thresholds SAP Analytics Cloud

When the threshold is applied, the colors in the chart change to reflect the desired ranges.


threshold SAP Analytics Cloud

Adding a Reference Line

Reference lines draw your attention to your KPI target and provide context for the person viewing it. They allow you to see exactly how much above or below target your results are. Are your underperforming areas barely meeting target, or are they way off?

To add a reference line, click the chart you want to apply a reference line to, then open the menu, and select ‘Add Reference Line’.

Adding reference line SAP Analytics Cloud

For the Value field, enter the number that you want to apply to your chart. In this example, we’ve entered 100 million.

adding a reference line SAP Analytics Cloud

For Label, you can enter anything you like such as ‘Performance Target’ or ‘Sales Benchmark’.

When we check the individual item in the chart, we can see where the value falls within the threshold.

Reference line SAP Analytics Cloud

You can adjust the style of the reference by adding colors above and below, changing the Type to Dynamic, and adding another reference line (i.e. Average).

Adding thresholds to tables

You can add thresholds to tables as well. Simply select either the column or the entire table, add select the ‘+New Threshold’ icon.

adding a threshold to a table in SAP Analytics Cloud

Defining thresholds work the same as in other charts. Once you define your ranges and apply it to your column or table, the threshold icons appear, letting you know which members are achieving the targets.

adding a threshold to a table in SAP Analytics Cloud

With SAP Analytics Cloud, adding thresholds and reference lines are a great way to monitor your business performance and put your business goals into context.

Additional Resources

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